National President of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN), Dr. Frank Ukor, has condemned the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) policy on auction of containers even as he called for the review of the law that gives the Service the powers to intercept and auction containers.
Ukor had at a stakeholder’s forum in Lagos posited that, if the law is not defined and regulated, it will give rise to corrupt practices among the personnel of NCS.
“If you define the law that permits Customs to seize and auction containers, it will be better for us because a lot of corrupt tendencies will be minimized. If you seize a consignment and go on to auction it, then you are giving the officers powers to seize everything that needs to be seized, but if it is regulated, customs can seize but not auction all the containers. If this is done, you will see that the level of seizure will be reduced drastically at the ports,’ Ukor stated.
The AREFFN chieftain said that no fewer than 2,115 containers are currently being auctioned by the NCS, many of which he said are not supposed to be but due to the suspended policy of duty bench mark which made many importers abandon their containers rather than pay the bench mark rates.
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